Deadlines set for quarry case appeal 

MOUNT DESERT — The two sides in the eight-year battle over the resumption of quarrying in the village of Hall Quarry have until Aug. 8 to file briefs with the Mount Desert Zoning Board of Appeals. 

They will then have until Aug. 29 to file their response to the other side’s brief. 

The Mount Desert Planning Board voted unanimously in February to deny an application for a quarrying license filed in 2014 by Harold MacQuinn Inc. and Freshwater Stone. The board cited two reasons for the denial: the incompatibility of quarrying with the surrounding residential area and an insufficiently binding easement for an access road over a portion of a neighbor’s property. 

Freshwater Stone wants to resume operating the 1-acre quarry, which it leases from MacQuinn, but it needs a license from the town to do so. 

Quarry opponents have objected most strongly to the noise generated by quarrying operations. 

The appeal of the Planning Board’s refusal to grant a quarrying license, filed April 14 by attorney Ed Bearor on behalf of MacQuinn and Freshwater Stone states: “The performance standard governing noise in the Quarrying Licensing Ordinance is unconstitutionally vague and therefore void.” 

As for the access road, Bearor argued in the appeal that his clients should not have been required to build it to the town’s subdivision standards. And he said the Planning Board had misread the easement giving his clients a right of way over a section of a neighbor’s land.  

A cross-appeal was filed April 20 by attorney Matthew Manahan on behalf of the “Hall Quarry Neighbors Group,” a collection of more than a dozen quarrying opponents, mostly Hall Quarry residents.  

Manahan wrote in the cross-appeal: “Although we support the Planning Board’s decision, we are filing this cross-appeal…to ensure that we have preserved the ability to argue that the Planning Board should have denied the application for other reasons as well.” 

He listed 15 additional reasons including some having to do with erosion control, stormwater buffers, groundwater impacts, vibration buffers and noise levels. 

A similar cross-appeal was filed April 21 by attorney Dan Pileggi on behalf of Hall Quarry residents Gerald and Laurie Shencavitz, Peter and Judy Aylen and Jan Coates. 

A “scheduling and procedural order” signed June 28 by appeals board Chair Bill Ferm states: “A hearing on this matter shall be set by the chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals after expiration of the briefing period and at the convenience of the Zoning Board of Appeals.” 

Whichever side the appeals board ultimately rules against may take the case to court. 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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